The Oglethorpe men's basketball team played a complete game Friday evening against Goucher at the West Palm Beach Tournament in Florida, blowing out the Gophers 91-63 and advancing to the tournament's championship game against Merchant Marine at 3 p.m. Saturday in Oxbridge Gymnasium. The Stormy Petrels improved to 4-5 with the win, snapping a three-game losing streak in the process.
The Petrels played well on both ends of the floor, sinking 50.8 percent of their field-goal attempts while holding Goucher to just 36.5 percent shooting. Oglethorpe also shot 41.4 percent from 3-point range and 78.9 percent from the foul line. Meanwhile, they outrebounded the Gophers 41-34 while outscoring them 24-13 off turnovers and 32-16 in the paint. Oglethorpe led by as many as 42 points en route to the lopsided victory.
Junior guard Dimetri Chambers led the way for the Petrels, scoring 23 points on 9-of-12 from the field and a perfect 4-of-4 from the charity stripe while adding five steals. Junior forward Josh Cammon scored 8 points on a perfect 4-for-4 from the field while grabbing nine rebounds. Sophomore forward Toju Etiwe added eight rebounds of his own.
The Petrels began on a 7-0 run over the opening 3 minutes, but Goucher worked their way back and took the lead, 16-15, with 12:41 left until halftime after a quick 9-2 run. The teams traded baskets for awhile, and the Gophers led again 24-23 at the 6:42 mark of the period. However, the Petrels began a 20-4 run that vaulted them into the driver's seat, a spot they didn't relinquish after that. They led 43-28 with 2:45 until the break, and 46-31 at halftime.
Oglethorpe began the second half on a whopping 36-9 run over the opening 13:45, breaking the game wide open and giving them their largest lead, 82-40. They cruised to victory from there.
"I thought our defense was solid tonight, as it has been most of the year," said Oglethorpe head coach Philip Ponder. "But it was nice to finally shoot the ball well, as that's an area we've been struggling with. I hope we maybe gained some confidence and that we can build on today's game and get another win in the championship game tomorrow."
After returning home for the holidays, the Petrels will host the Holiday Inn Express Classic Dec. 29 and 30 at Dorough Field House. They'll take on St. Joseph's-Brooklyn at 4 p.m. on the 29th and Brevard at 4 p.m. on the 30th.